Written by Dan Bristol
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Topics: England, Students

Sunday, 25 April 2004

image for Oxford Students Asked Not to Throw Pig Shit On People

OXFORD, England (AP) -- Spring in Oxford means the sound of disgusting things being thrown at people. Every summer, students at the famed seat of higher learning throw eggs, flour, and pig shit at each other in a celebration of academic accomplishment. However, University officials are worried that students may be going a bit too far with their exuberant "Let's Throw Pig Shit On People" festivities.

Fearing it's gotten out of hand, university authorities on Friday proposed sanctions, including fines of $50 to $120 (30 to 70 pounds) on students who throw food or flour or who spray champagne or shaving foam. Students have been asked to limit themselves to one bucket of pig shit per person.
Even those found carrying such items "with the intention of using them" could be punished, the university said. Throwing glitter or confetti are still allowed, despite the danger of infections festering in open paper cuts.

The university says that the proposed code was introduced after a run of rowdy parties last year, one of which resulted in several gallons of pig shit being thrown on the Dean's new Bentley.

"There were too many student finals celebrations getting out of hand," a university spokesman said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "They kept throwing too much pig shit on people, not confining themselves to the traditional two-bucket limit."
The code will apply within a 6-mile (9.7-kilometer) radius of the ancient Carfax tower in the heart of Oxford.

The code must still be debated by the Oxford University Students' Pointless Rituals Union and the governing body of the University Council For Throwing Pig Shit on People, which both meet next week.

"I don't think it really inconveniences anyone, it's usually just glitter and champagne," said Laura Cleveland, 22, a student at Brasenose College who thought authorities were overreacting. Miss Cleveland then proceeded to throw pig shit on people.

But Jeannine Hairypits, 20, a student at Wadblower College, said "I think dead fish and rotten eggs are a bit much, but why get so uptight over a few gallons of pig shit?"

Thames Valley Police spokeswoman Lucy Hernia said there had not been a lot of complaints from the public, "but enough for us to think about how you strike balance between those living in the area and those just wanting to throw pig shit on people."

In a statement on the Thames Valley Police Web site, Superintendent Keith CleanAirSystem said police "have absolutely no wish to dampen the genuine high spirits of the students, who only wish to celebrate by throwing pig shit on people." He then dumped a steel washtub full of dead goldfish on one of his subordinates, laughing maniacally.

"We have never demanded a complete ban on the celebrations. But we do ask that they consider the views of those living around the [central] Merton Street area, who may not appreciate waking up to buckets of pig shit on the street. Let them throw all the pig shit they want, so long as they only throw their own pig shit"

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